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Pickin' in the Park wraps up 'best season'

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Photo by Tamie Meck The bluegrass band The Railsplitters performs last Thursday at Paonia Town Park as part of the free Pickin' in the Park annual summer concert series. Grammy nominees Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen was the main attraction of the night

Pickin' Productions wrapped up its free concert series at Paonia Town Park last Thursday with bluegrass music by The Railsplitters, followed by more bluegrass by 2015 Grammy nominee and 2014 IBMA Instrumental Group of the Year, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen.

Attendance was a little light due to a downpour about an hour and half before show time, and in part due to the fact that the school year opened just two days earlier. Considering those two factors, it was a good crowd, said organizer Rob Miller of Pickin' Productions.

"I think it's the best season we've had in Paonia," added Miller, who also puts on a free concert series in Ridgway every June. Despite last week's low turnout, Paonia's attendance numbers were also the best in the event's 12-year history. In addition to a diverse and talented lineup this season, booking Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats on their way up and just as they were hitting the national music scene helped make it a success, said Miller. Rateliff drew an estimated 1,500 concert-goers.

In looking to next year's lineup, Miller told the audience between last week's acts that the more money he can raise through sponsorships, the better the quality of music he can book for next year.

New this year, and in conjunction with the Paradise Theatre, opening acts also performed at the Pickin' After Dark series. The series is modeled after Ridgway's Late Night at the Sherbino Theater, which for years has also featured an encore performance by the night's opening act. Miller said the Paradise has already expressed an interest in continuing the series next year.

For more information, or to sponsor the 2016 series, visit www.pickinproductions.com.

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